Mayor proclaims WMNF Polkateer Day, declines comment on ceasing of CAIR Day listen02/01/10 Joshua Lee Holton
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Today Mayor Pam Iorio awarded WMNFâ€™s Polka Party Express show with the proclamation of February 1st as WMNF Polkateer day.
Recently the mayor of Tampa appeared on WMNFâ€™s Sunday polka show. Today she issued a proclamation to honor the show and its fans. Proclamations are the fun part of the mayorâ€™s job, because she says that theyâ€™re easy to say â€œyesâ€ to. But some of the City's decisions about proclamations are more controversial.
The City of Tampa has issued a CAIR day each year since 2005 for the Council on American Islamic Relations. It established a day for which the Islamic group gained city-wide recognition. The Mayor said last June that she would no longer award proclamations for CAIR. WMNF asked her why; the Mayor declined to share her sources and reasons.
This morning WMNF Station Manager Jim Bennett thanked the mayor for issuing the station a proclamation last September, in which the City recognized WMNF for its values of freedom of expression, and cultural diversity. Bennett hopes that the City will reaffirm this as a standard by which proclamations are issued, and says that by its withdrawal of CAIRâ€™s proclamation, the City is sending a mixed message.
Bennett says that embracing freedom of expression and giving voices to those that are closed out of the mainstream media are part of WMNFâ€™s values.He says that giving community groups the right to be heard is part of those values, and is what the station is all about.